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Just What Is a 4PL Anyway?

Consultants and 3PLs differ on whether the trademarked term is a distinction without a difference, but they agree that there is a real need for a "supermanager" to run a company's logistics, knowledge base and IT systems. »

Finance and Logistics: Across the Great Divide

Companies have done a decent job of managing the flow of product and information. But in ignoring the financial end, they are overlooking something just as important. »

Webvan: Rewriting The Rules On 'Last Mile' Delivery

Webvan Corp., with the help of its technology partners, has broken the code on guaranteed, self-scheduled home delivery. Here's how it gets the goods delivered within a promised 30-minute window and where it plans to take that achievement. »

A Fertile Ground For Efficient Supply Chains

A series of successful logistics partnerships belies Latin America's reputation for poor communications, outdated infrastructure and unreliable service. »

P&G: The Global Giant Starts Small, Grows Fast

It's not easy to think of Procter & Gamble as a small company. But that's a fair description of the multinational's market position in Chile just two years ago.Cincinnati, Ohio-based P&G had been involved in a joint venture with a local Chilean paper company for the distribution of diapers and... »

Dana: Distance No Barrier To Serving the U.S.

One of the unwritten laws of third-party logistics might be: Never say no to new business. Even if you have only two days in which to take over a big account.C.H. Robinson Worldwide Inc., the freight forwarder and logistics provider based in Eden Prairie, Minn., had been courting the business of... »

Lucent, TMA: The Secret Is Dedicated Equipment

A third-party logistics provider and truckload carrier are working together to solve problems of equipment balance and availability in Mexico.The 3PL, Transportation Management Associates Inc. (TMA) of Mocksville, N.C., relies on the trailer-pool and haulage services of Joplin, Mo.-based Contract... »

Sony: Ramping Up for Big Growth in Sales

Companies need quick solutions in order to keep pace with rapid growth. In the case of Sony's operations in Mexico, the time between negotiations and the opening of a new distribution center was less than four months.The Sony supply chain might have seemed sufficient to the casual observer. Prior... »

GE: A Company-Wide Push for Excellence

No company is more obsessed with quality than General Electric Co. Under the leadership of Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Jack Welch, GE has pushed relentlessly for improvements at all of its business units. It is one of the chief adherents of Six Sigma, a rigorous quality program which... »

Delphi: A Piecemeal Approach to Marriage

The most comprehensive partnerships don't always start out that way. Ryder Systems Inc. took over the cross-border warehousing and transportation business of Delphi Packard Electric Systems in pieces.Delphi had been using another provider to manage dedicated distribution centers in El Paso and... »

SPECIAL ISSUE: GLOBAL SUPPLY-CHAIN PARTNERSHIPS - Ford: How to Maintain a 10,000-Mile Supply Line

Delivering parts to a modern American automotive plant from New Zealand must be a little like landing jets on an aircraft carrier: there's that tiny, fixed target at the end of a long journey over an endless ocean.In the case of Australia New Zealand Direct Line (ANZDL), that means supplying Ford... »


Even the world's most efficient supply chains need a backup plan when Murphy's Law kicks in.Few are more efficient than that of Toyota in Canada. The Japanese automaker's plant in Cambridge, Ont. operates under a "next-generation" just-in-time model. Parts shipments are triggered by actual demand,... »

SPECIAL ISSUE: GLOBAL SUPPLY-CHAIN PARTNERSHIPS - Whirlpool: Connecting Pieces of a Big Puzzle

Fompanies are deriving immense value from overhauling their supply chains. But big savings can also be achieved through partial solutions.Over the years, Whirlpool Corp. has taken a relatively cautious approach to outsourcing. At a time when others are shifting the whole logistics function to a... »

Everyone Wants 20/20 Vision When Peering into The Supply Chain

Supply-chain inventory visibility has become a hot topic in today's competitive and lean supply chains, and new technology is helping clear up the view. »

Trading Exchanges Have the 'Big Mo,' But Users Should Proceed With Caution

Companies must develop a strategy to take advantage of trading exchanges, analysts say, but caution is required since most of these new entities are not expected to survive. Analysts offer tips for separating e-marketplace hype from reality. »

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